Protect Your Indoor Air During Fire Season
We’re in the middle of the worst, and smokiest, time of year; fire season. Even if you are not near an active fire, it is best to take every precaution to ensure your safety, including protecting your indoor air quality. While it may feel like a small thing to worry about, smoke from wildfires can be extremely harmful. According to the EPA, microscopic particles from wildfire smoke can cause burning eyes, a runny nose, and can even aggravate existing heart and lung diseases. Here are some steps you can take to protect your indoor air during fire season.
Close and Seal Your Home
One of the best things you can do is to close and seal your home from the outside pollutants. The first step is closing all your windows and doors. Limiting the amount of outside air that gets into your home will keep your house less smoky and your indoor air cleaner. While closing your windows will stop most smoke particles from getting into your home, it’s important you don’t forget to close any fresh-air intakes. The fresh air intake will cycle outdoor air into your HVAC system. Few homes have this, but if yours is one of them, you will want to make sure its air filter is cleaned as well.
Run your Fan and AC
Due to the thick layer of smoke covering California, we have had many homeowners call in asking us about the best recommended thermostat setting for the air conditions. We recommend setting your thermostat to fan on and leaving it there until the smoke clears up. In this setting, your system will continually cycle out any smoky air that enters your home. During fire season your air conditioner is your best friend! It keeps your home cool, prevents air from becoming stale and heavy. Also, as indoor air flows through your HVAC unit, it is cleaned and filtered with every cycle, which is crucial when air contaminants, like smoke and ash, can get into the house.
Regularly Change Your Air Filter
When outdoor air is smoky and filled with potentially dangerous pollutants, your home should be your safe place. When facing fire season, changing your air filter is a very important step to improving your indoor air quality. If you, or someone in your home, suffers from asthma or allergies, you may want to look into a MERV filter. A MERV filter is stronger than a traditional air filter and will catch smaller indoor air contaminates before they are blown into your home.
Consider an Air Scrubber
If you want to take your indoor air quality a step further, consider investing in an Air Scrubber. An Air Scrubber is an add-on to your existing HVAC system that purifies your indoor air. As air enters your system, it first passes through the air filter. Then it travels through your ductwork and is dispersed into your home. The Air Scrubber is installed directly in the ductwork and uses a UV light to purify the air before it enters your home. With an Air Scrubber, as air passes through the ducts, the UV light will eliminate airborne contaminants.
If Needed, Evacuate
You and your family’s safety is the number one priority and that safety should never be compromised. If you are close to an active fire, stay informed and be prepared. If you want some helpful advice, click here for an evacuation guide.
Call Bell Brothers
Protecting your indoor air quality during fire season is crucial. While you can’t do anything about the outdoor air quality, you can preserve indoor air quality as much as possible. If you’re worried about your indoor air quality, don’t hesitate to call Bell Brothers. Our expertly trained HVAC technicians can answer any and all questions about protecting your indoor air quality. Call the number at the top of the screen to speak with one of our friendly call center representatives or click here to schedule an appointment online.